This month for BakeTogether, Abby created wonderful pots de creme for us to put our own spin on. Pots de creme are smooth, creamy, lightly set custard that is baked in a water bath then chilled. Over the summer I tried my hand at making pots de creme for the very first time when I made Basil Pot de Creme with Balsamic Strawberry Reduction and I was completely hooked on this elegant treat. I’ve seen both chocolate and vanilla versions before. Abby made a lovely vanilla bean version with instructions to get creative but make sure that vanilla remained the star of this creamy dessert.
When I set out to create my version I had the idea of making Abby’s version and changing the sauce. I also thought about adding spices to the pots de creme. In the end though, my thoughts turned to tea. As I peered through my cabinets I saw that I had a box of hibiscus tea and knew I’d found my ingredient to pair with the vanilla bean yet not outshine it.
I had hoped for a delicate light pink color from the redness of the hibiscus leaves. The custard ended up being more of a light brown with flecks of pink as well as the vanilla bean flecks. I think I’ll call it a dusty rose. Not exactly the color I was hoping for but the taste is spot on. It is smooth and the flavor of the vanilla bean definitely hits your taste buds first then it is followed by the slight tartness of the hibiscus. The two pair nicely together and the hibiscus definitely doesn’t take over despite how many bags I used. It all balances well leaving you with an easy to make, elegant dessert that’s sure to impress.
One Year Ago: Lemon Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins
Two Years Ago: Cannoli Pancakes
Smooth, creamy hibiscus and vanilla bean infused baked custards.
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
- 4 hibiscus tea bags
- 1 3/4 cup half & half
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- In a small saucepan, combine the vanilla bean pod, scraped seeds, tea bags and half and half. Bring the half and half to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and remove from heat. Steep for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Arrange four (6 ounce) ramekins in a baking dish with 2-inch sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt.
- Uncover the half and half, add the egg mixture to the half and half mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon or heat-proof spatula.
- Strain the mixture into a large 2-cup measuring cup through a fine mesh sieve, gently pressing the tea bags against the mesh to extract as much of the custard as possible taking care to not break the bags.
- Evenly distribute the custard among the 4 ramekins. Fill the baking dish with very hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the dish loosely with foil and bake 35-45 minutes, until the pots de creme just jiggle slightly in the center, like jello.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
Adapted from Abby Dodge